And all the sights to see – just as good, often better than overseas. If you’re looking for something to do without the hassle of airports and passports/visas and vaccinations – try one or two of these gems in the English Crown.
Who can help but love Shakespeare? And how many quotes can you come up with, without even trying. Quite a few I’ll guess, so a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, will fill you with amazed interest. His life unfolds, from birth – in a little back room of his parents’ house – to his final resting place in the Holy Trinity Church. In-between you can enjoy all of Stratford, glimpses of Tudor Britain, shops filled with souvenirs, books, cards, keyrings! And the theatre itself – at the end of your day – sit back, relax and enjoy! Other sightseeing includes Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Mary Arden’s Farm, both a must see also. Hotels abound here, from B+B’s to something a bit more special – like the Mercure Warwickshire Walton Hall and Spa – a 16th Century stately manor in 65 acres of parkland – such a treat!
In the South, we have the bright lights of London – and all that London can offer is just a short train journey away – history, gardens, markets, shopping – everything! But if you base yourself in the North, you can visit some fabulous English cities.
Let’s start in York – and its biggest attraction, the Minster. It’s just glorious and if you’re lucky, there will be a service when you visit, with a full choir. I was there for a Christmas Eve carol service and it was amazingly spiritual! The Royal York hotel is a historic 5-star hotel with superb views of the city and the grandeur of days gone by. A perfect place to stay, and if you’re coming by train – the station is just next door!
In Chester you’ll see the Rows, 2 levels of shopping, covered arcades and Tudor buildings. The old city is so pretty, pedestrianised and delightful to stroll, browse and drink coffee. My American friend likened it to Disneyland, but I quickly corrected that concept – this is the real thing! Just a mile from the city centre is the rural retreat 4 star Brook Mollington Banastre Hotel. Treat yourself to a specialty High Tea or relax and enjoy a spa treatment after you’ve explored Chester’s best – Chester Zoo, The Blue Planet Aquarium, Tatton Park and Chester Racecourse.
If it’s music you’re into, then Liverpool is the Mecca of it all – the sixties, Mersey-beat, the Beatles – if you remember it, then you weren’t there! Liverpool waterfront has had a facelift – there are open spaces, cafés to people-watch and look out at the ferries, crossing the Mersey! A great fun thing to do is to climb aboard the Magical Mystery Tour bus – it’s a 2 hour journey to the Beatles’ childhood homes and schools. Step into Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields and then step into the Cavern Club … this is where it all began!
There are some great days out too, so don’t miss a visit to Beamish museum while you’re up in County Durham. It’s all about yesteryear and nostalgia – A living museum – I was reminded of the Hovis advert! Steam trains, trams and buses, and old fashioned shop windows, crammed and cluttered full of treasures. You can book a 2 night break in a Best Western Hotel, including tickets to Beamish, with breakfast and dinner from £65 per person per night – just give us a call.
If you want something more lively, what about a trip to Blackpool? Our well-loved tower is the icon of English seaside holidays – but Blackpool is also full of great adventures – the Blackpool Tower Dungeon and Madame Tussauds are just two, and we can get you tickets before you go with 22% discount on the gate-rate on the day.
At Hallmark Travel we enjoy support from some great UK suppliers to help you put together some great UK holidays – a guided tour, a rail and stay break, self-catering parks and ferries to the Isle of Wight and the Isle of Man, boating on rivers and canals, short flights to the Channel Islands and of course – Scotland, Ireland and Wales – Coasts and Castles, Heritage and History – did you know we’ve got it all? Yes – it’s the Best of British!